March 4, 2011

Can Sexual Agreements Expand Monogamy?

submitted by Amara Charles Back

I wrote about Sexual Agreements in response to Pamela Madsen , author of ‘Shameless‘ from her Blog in Psychology Today:

I like the term Expanded Monogamy because these words suggest that you can be committed and faithful to the one you love and still create the freedom to explore safely and with agreed upon boundaries.
The question is, how on earth do we do this?

I don’t know if you got the chance to read my book ‘Sexual Agreements‘ which I handed to you when you were in Phoenix. I wrote it because while presenting Quodoushka sexuality workshops over the last 20 years, it was like dropping a freedom explosion into a community. While people were thrilled about exploring their sexual freedom and opening up sexual taboos in a safe space, after I left I started getting urgent emails and phone calls asking for help.

Once people were introduced to options, especially the idea of Expanded Monogamy, both men and women wanted to have sexual partners outside of their relationships. In many cases, it was a disaster.

Because many were not used to having freedom to explore their attractions, the way they went about trying to go for what they wanted was awkward, inconsiderate, and in some cases destructive. I would get calls from from wives and husbands who were hurt. Their feelings were crushed because their partners were blurting out demands, often sounding something like, “I want to see so and so.’ Where there was hurt, there was a tone of entitlement, saying things like, ‘I want an open relationship. I want to be free and I should be able to do what I want.”

What I began to see is that many of us grew up surrounded by the standard rules of monogamy and we want to be faithful and true to our partners. But we also want to explore, and we don’t know how to go about it. Speaking about our sexual desires, and then asking for what we want is not an easy thing to do! For some, the very notion of even thinking about another attraction is out of the question, for others, it’s natural to be curious.

There are so few models on how to go about having more freedom in our relationships and this is why I love your book Shameless. You bring up all the fears, blunders, and also the beauty of what it feels like to have more freedom. And you don’t make it sound easy, because it’s not. You are so courageous! And all the humor along the way sure helps!

What I like to help people understand is that making sexual agreements is something you can learn to do.I wrote my book to say here’s how you can go about this in a better way. Breaking out of the molds we grew up with doesn’t have to be a disaster, and I believe we need to take the utmost care to cherish our relationships. I also like the way you say not everybody needs to explore in the same way. You show us how we can have fun being an adventurer. I believe we can explore our sexual desires with care and respect if we put in the effort to communicate well. Many people are creating all different kinds of relationships these days, so who knows what will be ‘normal’ in the years to come?

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shyena says

Sexual agreements has helped me my Intimate and buisness relationships. Because i talk the time to review agreements and never if possible make any assumtions..

Amrita Wise says

This is a brilliant book – a must read – nothing like it “out there”

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